Anyone who thinks children only play on computer screens these days should go and have a chat with Jodi Waters.
The Grade 4 teacher at Arrowview Elementary School has compelling evidence that it’s just not true.
Waters showed her students a video she found on YouTube called Caine’s Arcade (cainesarcade.com), which showed a nine-year-old Los Angeles boy who used cardboard boxes from his father’s auto parts store to build his own arcade games.
“It was 10 minutes of joy,” she said. “I showed the kids on the smartboard and they were totally in love with the idea,” she said. “I gave them a task of making their own blueprints for arcade games out of boxes and that sort of stuff. They drew blueprints that were quite creative and intricate.”
She thought that was the end of it, but she was mistaken.
“A couple of days later one little boy brought one to school and it made everyone want to bring in one,” Waters said. “What I like about it is they are not doing computer stuff. They are being creative again. It’s just raw creativity. They took their idea and they brought it to life.”
The lobby of the school was soon turned into the Waters Arcade, where a wide variety of cardboard arcade games can be played.
“The kids have been playing the games at recess and lunch and now other classes are creating their own arcades,” she said. “I didn’t expect this. It took off and they’re having a gas.”
The arcade games include a variety of ball toss challenges and other games of skill.